Saturday, November 13, 2010

NDSU vs. UCSB Gaucho Hoops preview

The NDSU Bison are a tough team, tougher than Denver, in my opinion. Their best player Tveidt (#23) turned an ankle, got taped up, and toughed it out, even though he was having difficulty running. He ended up leading them in scoring with 27 points. If the Gauchos win, one of the biggest reasons may be because his ankle swelled up overnight. His shot was flat after the injury, based on first half of action. Braun (#24) and Carlson (#25) are also good players, VERY clever, and long. Felt (#3) is a gunner with unlimited range, and both point guards can shoot, but the Gauchos can pick their pockets, as Oregon's defenders were doing. NDSU's coach was positive on his players, unlike Denver's coach who kept yelling at this players, demanding perfection even when they were nowhere near the ball (I agree with his coaching concepts, but totally disagree with his Bobby Knight-like undressing of his players). Every time he would yell at them for doing something wrong, they would hang their heads. Thankfully, by the time the Gauchos were pulling away, he laid off of them, remaining on the bench.

Back to NDSU, Tveidt's ankle may blow up after a long, overtime night game, and they don't have the level of depth the Gauchos do, so I expect a Gaucho win. But the gap in talent between the two teams is marginal. Prediction: we win by 7, 69 - 62, in a close game until the end where we wear them out defensively. Their point guards are vulnerable to turnovers, even if they are good shooters.

Regarding the high-scoring affair with the Oregon Ducks, realize that Dana Altman's teams apply a full court press 40 minutes a game. They challenge the inbounds pass after a made bucket. He is liberal with his substitutions, because he prefers a faster tempo, even when his Creighton teams weren't the most athletic (see Kyle Korver). Oregon lacks depth this year, but Altman will deploy full line substitutions much like an ice hockey coach would--he's not afraid to use many different rotations. His teams force an uptempo game, so the scores are generally higher. I don't think NDSU is necessarily a fast-breaking team--they were just forced to play at a quicker pace, as the Gauchos will, when they play the Ducks on Sunday.

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